Amidst Red Fizzle, Clint Brewer Questions Why Republicans Did Not Utilize Americans’ Concerns

Amidst Red Fizzle, Clint Brewer Questions Why Republicans Did Not Utilize Americans’ Concerns

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed recovering journalist Clint Brewer in the studio to discuss the disappointing Republican midterms and questioned why American concerns were not addressed by candidates.

Leahy: Back in the studio, 36 hours since last you were here, our very good friend, all-star panelist, recovering journalist and public affairs specialist, good family man, Mr. Clint Brewer. Good morning, Clint.

Brewer: Hey, Mike. How are you? Do you always give the date and the year like that?

Leahy: I do.

Brewer: I’ve missed that.

Leahy: I always do. You just don’t pay attention to every single word I say. I can’t imagine it.

Brewer: I think you should give the date and then say, in 2022, the year of our Lord, maybe.

Leahy: See, this is why our brains work well.

Brewer: It sounds a little more medieval.

Leahy: You know who does that?

Brewer: Who?

Leahy: Stephen K. Bannon.

Brewer: Does he?

Leahy: Yes. Every time he starts off, he says, in the year of our Lord, because, you know, he’s a strong Catholic.

Brewer: Got you. I just like the way it sounds.

Leahy: Yes. Who’s probably been to confession a lot, by the way. (Chuckles)

Brewer: He’s probably going to go a little bit more here soon.

Leahy: So, look, you were here with us on election night. We started our coverage with the anticipation that it would be a red wave.

Brewer: Everybody did. All the mainstream media outlets.

Leahy: And the initial results in Florida suggested a red wave. However, the red wave hit Florida, and also, I’d say we kind of had a red wave here in Tennessee, but in the rest of the United States, it was pretty much a red fizzle.

Brewer: It was more like the Red Wedding from Game of Thrones.

Leahy: Yes.

Brewer: It was terrible.

Leahy: It was not good.

Brewer: No. Midterms, they’re perplexing from a political science standpoint. Sometimes, most of the time, you get what you’re expecting, but there are a lot of times where you just, you know …

Leahy: This was not what I was expecting.

Brewer: And I’d have trouble calling out the year, but it was a Bush midterm, and Bill Frist was Senate Majority Leader, and they were expected to get destroyed, and he actually ran up the score. And so every now and then you get these years where it’s a different front. This one was really different.

Leahy: It was really different. The pollsters have been criticized for oversampling Democrats for years. Guess what? This year, oversampled on Republicans. If you want to say broadly, they overprojected Republicans.

Brewer: I think the math is still coming in. You probably have the numbers better.

Leahy: I’m looking at the numbers right now.

Brewer: Just for myself and the listeners, where are we with House and Senate seats? Just seats.

Leahy: RealClearPolitics shows there are now outstanding still, I’m just looking at it here, there are 33 races that haven’t been called yet. Okay.

Brewer:  Thirty-three across both chambers?

Leahy: No, in the House, 33 out of 435. But 210 have been called for Republicans. That’s a net pickup of eight. Eight. Not 20, not 30, not 40, not 50, not 60. It’s no wave. It’s a little nudge, shall we say. Democrats 192 minus eight.

So where does this all play out? It probably ends up with a plus-10. We end up, I think, with a 224 GOP, 211 Democrat. A very, very narrow Republican margin. I don’t think anybody had that low a projection for the pickup.

Brewer: No. It just tells me that neither party was really dialed into what America cared about.

Leahy: Here’s the other thing. Inflation is way up. Crime is way up, the borders are a disaster. We lost Afghanistan through incompetence. And still …

Brewer: There’s a lot to run on if you were a Republican.

Leahy: A lot. And still, it’s only an eight-plus at the moment. It’s stunning.

Brewer: And so here’s my thing: Americans care about everything you just said. They do. So what in the world were the Republican candidates talking about instead?

Leahy: That’s a very good point.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:



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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J.C. Bowman Reflects on Signing Up for the Corps and Walking Those ‘Famous Yellow Footprints’

J.C. Bowman Reflects on Signing Up for the Corps and Walking Those ‘Famous Yellow Footprints’

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Marine veteran J.C. Bowman in studio to talk about what it was like signing up for America’s exclusive fighting force – the Corps.

Leahy: In the studio right now, our very good friend J.C. Bowman. He’s the founder and president of Professional Educators of Tennessee. If you are a teacher and you don’t want to be part of a left-wing union, but you want benefits, this is the place to go. Visit them on the web at proedtn.org. Good morning, J.C. Bowman.

Bowman: Good morning, Michael. How are you doing today?

Leahy: I’m doing great. A couple of things we want to note. You are wearing your Marine Corps shirt right now. You are a Marine Corps veteran. It’s a special day for Marines today.

Bowman: Yes, sir. 247th birthday of the United States Marine Corps, the world’s finest fighting force.

Leahy: You sound like you’ve just enlisted and you’ve just finished boot camp.

Bowman: I tell you what, there is nothing like getting scared to death standing on these yellow footprints. I think everybody ought to do it once in life. You come through, and they put you on a bus.

Leahy: Let’s just put this in context. You graduate from high school.

Bowman: Graduated high school.

Leahy: When was this?

Bowman: 1981.

Leahy: What happened next?

Bowman: I played around in college for a little bit, for a little semester. My dad told me I was either going to stay in college – and college just wasn’t working out for me. I was playing basketball more than I was in class.

Leahy: There’s nothing wrong with that.

Bowman: I developed a really good jump shot (Leahy chuckles), but my dad said, you’re either going to college, son, or getting a job. And I was determined to prove him wrong. My dad was in the Navy, so I went there.

Leahy: Did you go to a recruiting office? What did you do? Was it in Chattanooga?

Bowman: Yes. Cleveland, Tennessee.

Leahy: So what was that conversation like?

Bowman: So I go in there and I see the Navy guy, and it’s like, it’s not for me. And I talked to the Army guy, and I see some guys I’d gone to high school with, and I’m like, eh, these guys are going to get me killed. (Laughter)

I don’t even think they graduated. Not that that’s bad. I’m just pointing it out. Nothing wrong with the Army either. And then subsequently, the Air Force, they were just full up. And the last office you look at is the Marines, and that is the coolest uniform I’ve ever seen.

Leahy: Was it the uniform that did it?

Bowman: It was. Those dress blues just pop.

Leahy: So did you sign that day?

Bowman: What I did was, I said what is the process? I said, what would it take to put me in that uniform? He said, your signature on a piece of paper. And I said, well, what’s the steps on it? What can I get as a Marine, you know, a job? What would I do in the military?

And I was looking at it. He said well, let’s take a test and see how you do. And they scheduled me for a test and he came back and I’d scored the highest score that they’d ever had in my hometown.

Leahy: Not to brag. But it was a fact.

Bowman: And he came back and said whatever job you want, you can have. And so there were two jobs that really interested me– 0431, which is your logistics. You load ships, and planes, and you get deployed and you work to do that.

And 0451, you load planes mainly. And what you do is you also do the parachute and you jump out. And they were showing me the video footage of them jumping into the Atlantic in January.

Leahy: And you thought this is what you wanted?

Bowman: And I thought, yeah, this is great, but I don’t like cold water. And so I said I better do the 0431. So I worked in S4 in the Marine Corps, which is logistics.

Leahy: What happens on the day that you get signed up? What do you do?

Bowman: You go through there, you go through the process, and you start training.

Leahy: Before that though. So you leave home. Do you get, like, on a bus? Is there a Marine Corps bus that comes by or what happens?

Bowman: They fly you to Savannah, Georgia. I get on the airplane in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Leahy: And you fly into what?

Bowman: Savannah, Georgia.

Leahy: Okay, what happens then?

Bowman: And then they put you on a bus. You get on a special bus for the Marine Corps.

Leahy: OK, so now you’re on the bus.

Bowman: Now you’re on the bus and you pull up and the three biggest guys I’ve ever seen in my life get on this bus and they tell you, you’ve got five seconds to get off the bus.

And four of them are already gone. And you run out there and you jump on these yellow footprints. And it scares the snot out of you.

Leahy: The yellow footprints are … ?

Bowman: The famous – there’s yellow footprints that line up in front of Paris Island, South Carolina. And when you step on those and then you walk through a thing that says through these halls walk the greatest military force in the world. And in there you see all these pictures of famous Marines.

Leahy: It’s a little daunting, isn’t it?

Bowman: It is. And you know you’re in the footsteps of some great people.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:



– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

Marine Veteran J.C. Bowman Relives a Day in the Life of a New Marine on Paris Island, South Carolina

Marine Veteran J.C. Bowman Relives a Day in the Life of a New Marine on Paris Island, South Carolina

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Marine veteran J.C. Bowman in the studio to talk about what it was like arriving at Marine boot camp on Paris Island, South Carolina in the early 1980s.

Leahy: Today is the birthday of the United States Marine Corps. And in the studio with us right now, a Marine, J.C. Bowman. We’re talking about 18-year-old J.C. Bowman arriving at Paris Island, South Carolina in 1981.

You’ve just gotten off the bus, you’ve stepped in the yellow footprints, and now you’re going through, entering the barracks. You’re seeing the list and the images of the great Marines that have been out through history. Tell us what happens next.

Bowman: They really drill tradition and the history of the Marine Corps in there. They’ve really built the love of their country into that – why we serve, and what our purpose is.

Leahy: How many guys were on the bus with you?

Bowman: You have to remember, there are four platoons, 60 times. So there are 240 people to get off, probably at one time.

Leahy: 240 people?

Bowman: Yes.

Leahy: So you’re amongst 240 18-year-old, 19-year-old, and 20-year-old men at that time.

Bowman: And they break them down into four. You have four units.

Leahy: What’s the first thing you do when you enter?

Bowman: You sit down, and you start filling out paperwork. And you got to remember, you’re arriving there at about 2:00 in the morning. And so you’re getting there, and then by the time you get to bed, you get about two hours of sleep.

Leahy: What happens then? So when you say you get to bed, what’s your bed like?

Bowman: So it’s a rack, it’s an old-fashioned rack with metal bunk beds that probably existed since World War II.

Leahy: Is it sort of like, for those of us who have not served in the Marines, I watched Gomer Pyle USMC. They had the Quonset hut. Is it sort of like that?

Bowman: Yeah, not too far off of that. It’s a little more modern brick building and stuff.

Leahy: So you get to bed and then what time do they get you up?

Bowman: You get up about five in the morning and so it starts, maybe four in the morning. I mean, you’ve had really no sleep. And so you get up and the very first thing you remember, and I think if any Marine ever tells you the story of going to boot camp, is the sound of a garbage can being thrown down an open squad bay.

Leahy: This is what they do.

Bowman: And that’s your alarm clock. We joke about it, but when you hear that.

Leahy: That’s kind of an interesting sound, isn’t it?

Bowman: Oh, yes, it is.

Leahy: Did you know that the garbage can was coming?

Bowman: Absolutely not.

Leahy: But you heard it and you thought, this is not going to be good.

Bowman: No. And they yelled.

Leahy: You are in bed and you hear the garbage can rolling down the hall …

Bowman: And about 10 grown men or 15 grown men come flying out, probably the most, dressed immaculately, and they’re screaming at the top of their lungs, get up! Get out of bed!

Leahy: And so what do you do? (Chuckles)

Bowman: You get out of bed, and you move quickly. And that’s the main thing you learn. Move quickly.

Leahy: Is that it?

Bowman: Yes. Move quickly. Wherever you go, do it quickly, and they teach you.

Leahy: Your first day, you get up and what do you do?

Bowman: They’re going to march you. They’re going to feed you. You are going to get three meals a day.

Leahy: So that first day, what do you do? Do you go right to chow?

Bowman: You keep processing through, you go through the paperwork, you’re doing the stuff. You’re writing a letter to your mom and your parents.

Leahy: Really?

Bowman: Saying, I have arrived. I am here. Please do not contact me. Sorry, Sally, I won’t be back for a while. Whatever. Writing a letter saying, telling everybody hello, we’re alive, we’re wild, we’re great.

Leahy: I’m loving it here.

Bowman: No. There is no I’m loving it here. It’s to let somebody back home know you were alive and you were filling out who your next of kin was. You’re signing paperwork. When I went in, it was $35,000 if you died. So you’re signing your life insurance policy and who is going to inherit that.

Leahy: So you’re an 18-year-old kid and you sign your life insurance policy worth $35,000 if you die. Who was your beneficiary?

Bowman: Oh, it was definitely Mom and Dad. So I was going to leave it to them. You go through all the paperwork. You do that. And then eventually what they do is they’re going to take you up and they’re going to break you into platoons. I was in platoon 2024.

Leahy: You remember that number?

Bowman: Oh, you don’t forget the number.

Leahy: Really?

Bowman: And interestingly, later, I had a teacher that we had to represent at Professional Educators in Tennessee, and he was a Marine, and we started talking about our experience. He was actually the drill instructor at platoon 2025.

Leahy: No kidding? So a platoon consists of 60 members.

Bowman: About 60. There might be a little bit more, a little less if you make it through because you’re going to have people drop out yet who don’t make it.

Leahy: Now you’ve gotten the paperwork, what’s your typical daylight in the boot camp for Marines?

Bowman: When you first get through there, you’re going to hand you PTE. They’re going to get you uniforms. They’re going to get your equipment. They’re going to measure you. They measure you for your uniforms.

The Marine Corps has tailored uniforms. So you get actually measured and you get retailored, and your uniforms are there. And the final dressing is when you go at the end of your time there, your uniforms are tailor-made by tailors on staff in Paris Island.

Leahy: What are you wearing now?

Bowman: Fatigues.

Leahy: What time typically do you get up?

Bowan: The way it works is, you get to sleep in later the longer you’re in there. So ultimately, when you’re up there, you’re up at the 4:00 hour.

Leahy: What happens at 4:00?

Bowman: You get marched into the chow hall. You’re in your candy pants, usually, and I went in April. So you’re in a T-shirt, and these things called sand fleas, which are, I don’t know exactly what they are, but they’re gnawing at the back of your neck.

Do not slap them. Let them eat you alive, because if you slap them, depending on who your drill instructor is, you may have to bury a flea, and you may get in trouble. Do not get caught slapping bugs or anything else. It’s to teach you discipline. I have to tell you, at 18 that’s what I needed. I needed the discipline.

Leahy: What was breakfast like?

Bowman: To this day, Michael, I do not eat scrambled eggs.

Leahy: It was scrambled eggs?

Bowman: It’s like an ice cream scoop of scrambled eggs, a couple of pieces of bacon, some toast, and then they’ll ask you if you want this, for lack of words, I’ll call it SOS, but it’s some type of beef-chip gravy of some type that they put in there and throw it on there.

Leahy: You weren’t quite sure exactly.

Bowman: I wasn’t sure what that was. (Leahy chuckles) And then if you’re running late, they say you’re having duck today. You’re ducking in, you’re ducking out. You do not run behind in the Marine Corps.

Leahy: Breakfast is over.

Bowman: Breakfast is over.

Leahy: What happens now?

Bowman: You’re going to go exercise.

Leahy: Right after breakfast.

Bowman: Oh, yeah. You’re going to walk, and you’re going to go do some stuff.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:



– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “J.C. Bowman” by J.C. Bowman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christian Songwriter Gary Chapman Discusses the Current Vibe of the Music Industry and Turbulent Truth Podcast

Christian Songwriter Gary Chapman Discusses the Current Vibe of the Music Industry and Turbulent Truth Podcast

Live from Music Row, Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed legendary Christian music country artist, Gary Chapman in studio to discuss the current state of the music industry, where it’s headed, and his website turbulenttruth.com.

Leahy: Singer songwriter, well-known guy, a good friend, Gary Chapman. I didn’t know we were good friends, but we are good friends.

Chapman: Turns out we are.

Leahy: Turns out we are. So, Crom, you were talking a little bit about what’s going on in the music industry. You’ve got some questions for Gary.

Carmichael: Yes, because in the old days, people who bought music bought something physical. It was easy to track and easy to divide royalties among the various creative talent.

Chapman: Yes.

Carmichael: And then it changed to streaming. You didn’t have anything physical, and a lot of people hacked and stole stuff.

Chapman: They did.

Carmichael: But then, even where it was done, honestly, streaming has become so inexpensive and prolific that you’re dividing a penny instead of dividing a dollar.

Chapman: Yes. And there’s still money out there. But greed, as it usually is the case in most businesses, it rears its ugly head.

Carmichael: So, how do you see the music business? Give us a brief description of the last, say, 15 or 20 years. Where do you think it’s headed?

Chapman: You can take Tender Tennessee Christmas and a whole bunch of other number-one songs and a few decades of life that I put into what I thought was retirement.

And that over the last pushing 15 years now has turned into let’s go down to Florida, honey, and find a place to sit on the beach for the rest of our lives. That’s turned into let’s have dinner next week. I’ve tracked it, meticulously my royalty stream is down 98 percent.

Carmichael: Wow.

Chapman: In the past 15 years.

Leahy: Really?

Chapman: And that’s not something that wasn’t growing, because those songs, they have a life that just continues like Tennessee Christmas just got cut again. Those things continue to grow, and it’s really, really a shame. I know Hall of Fame songwriters that are working at Home Depot because they’re honorable guys and want to keep eating and taking care of their families, that’s wrong.

What the world is slowly figuring out is that when you stop paying people who are gifted to write those songs and instead you just let the craziness that you’ve talked about country music earlier.

Anybody with two brain cells still slapping against each other can write that crap. But if you want to write something like, Chris Wallin just called in, you want to write Don’t Blink, that’s a gifted songwriter.

That’s a God-given gift. And when you stop paying those people to do that, the quality of your music will decrease dramatically. And it has. There’s still great music because idiots like me just can’t stop. I can’t stop being a songwriter.

Leahy: That’s what you are.

Chapman: It’s what I am. But the good news is, creativity always wins eventually. And the people will wake up to the reality that that has to happen for the quality of music to be what it should be and to be effective in the culture.

Carmichael: Now, let me ask you a question because here’s my sense of it as I look at the music industry as an outsider. The money today is being made in the performances.

Chapman: Yes. It’s live performance and merchandise.

Carmichael: Do songwriters get a cut of live performances?

Chapman: No.

Carmichael: Is there a way for great songwriters to kind of band together or work with emerging artists where they do get a piece of the performances?

Chapman: I don’t know that they’ll ever get to the point where they get a piece of the performances. NSAI here locally with Bart Herbison at the helm is doing amazing things to turn that ship around.

Leahy: To turn it around. I want to shift gears just a tad here. Gary, you’re involved in a new project.

Chapman: Yes.

Leahy: Turbulenttruth.com.

Chapman: Yes.

Leahy: Turbulenttruth.com.

Chapman: That’s right.

Leahy: Tell us about that. Crom, you like the name turbulent truth.

Carmichael: Just having more fun listening to the names that Gary’s come up with. Great names.

Leahy: Tell us about that.

Chapman: I’ve got a buddy, his name is Scott Kutcher, and he’s hilarious. He’s about 5ft tall, and his goal in life is to be 5ft cubed. That’s what he was planning to do. Then he started losing weight, and I said, man, you’re screwing up your whole brand. Don’t do that.

But he came to me about six months ago and said, let’s do a podcast, because every time we get together, it’s not unlike what you guys do. There’s chemistry, you feel it, and it’s always entertaining. And we both leave laughing. And I said, man, everybody’s doing a podcast.

I don’t want to do that. He said, now let’s do it. So we did. We started doing this thing, Turbulenttruth.com, and I had a buddy down in Texas that does content distribution. He saw it because we pointed cameras at it as well as the audio.

He called me and said, man, if you’ll make that 28 minutes and 30 seconds long to the frame, I will put that in 10 million of the most conservative, patriotic homes in America.

It’s all west in North Texas, it’s all of Oklahoma, and it’s all in New Mexico, which, quite frankly, is very conservative. It just happens to be corrupt. Those people are responding to what we do in incredible ways. It’s pretty amazing.

Carmichael: That’s terrific.

Chapman: Now we’re on several different streaming platforms in 156 countries.

Leahy: What’s the hook on turbulent truth?

Chapman: We sit down and start talking about what’s going on just like you do. We have zero plans. We’re both absolutely committed to living a life, listening to the Holy Spirit, and doing what he tells us to do. And that turns into really interesting takes.

We don’t care who’s president. We don’t because it’s not going to affect what we do. We care who’s King. And Jesus is King and that’s never changing. And there is a peace and joy and comfort that comes in walking and living your life that way that you can’t get anywhere else because you’re going to get lost in the ups and downs of all the rest of the stuff. Do we know what’s going on? Yes. Do we comment on it? Yes. In the end, does it matter? No, it doesn’t.

Carmichael: It’s interesting because what I brought in today to discuss I didn’t know that we’re going to discuss this. And I’m so pleased that you’re here. But I brought in the Ten Commandments.

Chapman: Yes, I love it.

Carmichael: And I wanted to discuss that what we have is that was laid out many millennials ago, and our society today has rewritten what it considers to be the Commandments.

And if you go down those specifically and ask, how does our society think about each one of those individually taking them, pulling it apart, and looking at each one, none of them, none of them are applied today.

Chapman: No. Our society has focused way too much on the importance of what they think of God. And they stopped focusing on what God thinks of them. If you go through this list and you do what this says, life is going to be very, very different around you.

          Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:



– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Gary Chapman” by Gary Chapman Singer/Songwriter.

 

Conservative Singer Alexis Wilkins Talks Business of New Release STAND, Social Media, and Staying True to Herself

Conservative Singer Alexis Wilkins Talks Business of New Release STAND, Social Media, and Staying True to Herself

Live from Music Row, Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed new country singer-songwriter, Alexis Wilkins, in studio to talk about the business side of the song STAND, making the top 10 on iTunes, and staying true to herself.

(STAND plays)

Leahy: That’s a new release. STAND, by country artist Alexis Wilkins, who is in studio with us. She is a conservative, who is, you know, in her twenties, a Belmont graduate, still a conservative. Survived Belmont. Very impressive.

Wilkins: Thank you.

Leahy: You’re on the web at alexiswilkins.com. Now you were telling me about the business side of STAND. Did you release that last week?

Wilkins: Yes. So we released that exclusively on Rumble and True Social on November 3rd and then everywhere on November 4th.

Leahy: And how’s it done?

Wilkins: It’s been great. It’s been really great. The response has been pretty overwhelming for just me believing in the song and releasing it. I’m glad that it hits people the same way that it affects me, honestly. We broke the top 10 with it, which is great.

Leahy: You said we broke the top 10 with it. What is that exactly? The top ten of what?

Wilkins: Of the iTunes country chart. Independent artist.

Leahy: How many other independent artists were in the top 10?

Wilkins: I think it was just us.

Leahy: Just you. Yeah. What’s the secret to your success besides the fact that this song is great and your voice is great?

Wilkins: Well, thank you. I believe that it’s speaking out for what you believe in and representing the values that people can really emotionally understand and things that you believe in.

Leahy: I’m hearing that the music labels here in Nashville are A, woke, and B, run out of Los Angeles. Are both of those things true or partially true? What’s the deal?

Wilkins: I’ve seen a lot of carryover from pop into country on both the music and the business side. I don’t know exactly what’s going on there, but you can see kind of the shift even in just the way that country music sounds. That’s what I’ve observed.

Leahy: I’m kind of a classic guy, right? I like Johnny Cash. I like Patsy Cline. I like Loretta Lynn. I listen to country music today and I don’t recognize it. It’s like, I don’t know, guys in skinny jeans being politically correct, sounding like Taylor Swift. I’m exaggerating. But Patrick, our producer, is a musician. He’s a drummer.

Wilkins: Oh cool!

Leahy: He’s looking, and he’s laughing at me because, for somebody who doesn’t know music, I think I may have probably nailed it on that part. How do you go about succeeding as an independent without a label? Did you ever talk to a label? What do they say?

Wilkins: I’ve been in town a long time, and so you know people and you see things, and I just have always been really intentional about knowing who I am. Whether you’re walking into the room of a label or you’re walking into a writing room, knowing who you are as an artist is one of the most important things and so is your own identity and really carrying that through.

Leahy: So you’re politically conservative, and to me, again, not a music expert, but you sound more like the classic country to me.

Wilkins: Thank you. I appreciate that.

Leahy: When you go into a meeting with these labels, right? Is there a guy with skinny jeans and sunglasses looking at you like, who are you? (Wilkins chuckles) What are these meetings like?

Wilkins: It’s funny because in the last couple of years, especially with, fortunately, and unfortunately, the social media side of things, you can reach audiences so much easier whether you have a label or not.

And so as long as you’re connecting with the audience and your music is resonating with them, and I love country music. That’s what I grew up on, and I like making. As long as it’s resonating with the people, everything else is just kind of window dressing.

Leahy: Do you think is there any label in town that would say, hey, we’d like a conservative-oriented, classic country female artist? Are they lining up to, say, sign her up?

Wilkins: You know, we’re seeing people represent their American values just as a baseline. And so I’m not sure. I hope that honestly, things get less political in the music world. I think that what we need is less division.

Leahy: That’s what you hope? You know what? I don’t think so. I think it’s going to get more political. But again, I’m just looking at it from the outside.

Wilkins: We’re in the back half of the two years leading to elections, so I think that you’re probably correct.

Leahy: Yes. If people want to listen to you and hear you live, how do they find out where’s your next performance?

Wilkins: You can go on my website. I have a running list.

Leahy: Alexiswilkins.com.

Wilkins: And so we have the running list of dates there. I know that I have some coming up in Detroit and Indianapolis, Memphis, and, I think, Birmingham, but I need to check on that. And then my social media is all Alexis Wilkins. You can go to Alexis Wilkins Merch for STAND merchandise.

Leahy: Who runs your social media? Do you do that?

Wilkins: I do that.

Leahy: You do it all yourself? That’s exhausting.

Wilkins: I know. My mom helps me. She’s better at marketing than I am. She has a marketing background. And so I’ve kind of been like, hey, will you help me? Because social media, it is something else. But no, she helps a lot with that because I get over it.

Leahy: Truth Social, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Rumble. Which has been most helpful to you?

Wilkins: Well, recently, Rumble did the exclusive release on STAND and True social. They’ve been incredible. The team over there has just been really great.

Leahy: Do you know Devin Nunez?

Wilkins: Yes. Devon’s been really good.

Leahy: Hanging with Devin.

Wilkins: And it’s wild. He’s great.

Leahy: Yeah, he’s good. So that’s good. So he’s got a really good team at True Social. He’s been here in our studios a couple times. Good guy. And so that’s good. How about the guys at Rumble?

Wilkins: Rumble has been fantastic. We’ve been working with some of the people over there. And I know that they had STAND on the front page of Rumble during the release. They’ve been fantastic.

Leahy: Has Elon Musk been calling you for Twitter? (Wilkins chuckles) There’s new ownership there.

Wilkins: Not directly.

Leahy: What do you do with Twitter?

Wilkins: Oh, man, there’s so much dust settling right now in the social media space. And it’s funny because before True Social and Rumble came along, I was more Instagram-heavy, just because that was where most of my interaction was and also Facebook. And so now that Twitter is under new leadership, I’m interested to see how things kind of shake out.

Leahy: Have they reached out and said, hey, Alexis, we want to promote classic country conservative stars?

Wilkins: Not Twitter. No, not directly. I think they have bigger issues over there to sort out.

Leahy: Yes, exactly.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:



– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Alexis Wilkins” by Alexis Wilkins.

 

Singer-Songwriter Alexis Wilkins Talks Musical Beginnings and New Song STAND

Singer-Songwriter Alexis Wilkins Talks Musical Beginnings and New Song STAND

Live from Music Row, Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed new country singer-songwriter Alexis Wilkins in studio to talk about her musical beginnings and new song STAND written by J.T. Cooper.

Leahy: Today, we are delighted to welcome to our microphones a great new entertainer, Alexis Wilkins, who came to Nashville from Arkansas and graduated from Belmont University and still emerged as a conservative. Welcome, Alexis, to The Tennessee Star Report.

Wilkins: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Leahy: You have a very interesting story. Your high school graduation was from Faithful, Arkansas.

Wilkins: Yes.

Leahy: And you spent time there. You’ve been interested in music for your whole life, right?

Wilkins: Yes, sir.

Leahy: And you have a new record coming out.

Wilkins: I do, yes, it’s out now. It’s called STAND, and we released it last week in honor of Veterans Day. And so it’s out now.

Leahy: So we’re going to play a little clip of your new song, STAND by Alexis Wilkins. Here it is. (STAND plays)

Leahy: Tell us about that song.

Wilkins: Oh, man. Stand is a special song, too.

Leahy: Did you write it? Who wrote it?

Wilkins: So I have never released anything that I haven’t written. The big thing for me, writing is a huge part of my story. However stand, I did not write. It was written by my friend J.T. Cooper and Shelby Lilo. And J.T., I can talk a little bit more about his story.

But he started an organization called Warrior Rounds, where we songwriters write with veterans and help tell their stories. And he’s just an incredible guy, an incredible dad. I call him my big brother.

And he wrote this song. He’s a veteran himself. He was in what we know as Black Hawk Down over in Somalia, and he came back and started writing music and really helps other people with it as well.

And so he wrote this from the perspective of someone who is not a veteran, who’s not a police officer, is not a first responder, but wants to stand and respect those who are.

Leahy: Very appropriate for Veterans Day.

Wilkins: Yes.

Leahy: Now, you are a conservative.

Wilkins: Yes.

Leahy: You went to Belmont. I know you survived Belmont.

Wilkins: I did.

Leahy: Which has gone left-wing lib these days. We have friends who are in faculty there, but they don’t have the same conservative perspective that we have. It was a struggle there. I think he had a lot of anti-conservative bias. Is that right?

Wilkins: It was interesting. It was definitely a heightened time to attend college. I know that all of it is a little bit interesting. I feel for those who are in it now, especially because I fear it’s gotten worse. But yes, when I went to college, it was the height of the election.

Leahy: The 2016 election?

Wilkins: Yes. Really raised.

Leahy: So, your musical career. When did you start putting songs out? Do you do it independently? Do you have a label? What’s the deal on that?

Wilkins: I do it independently. Long story short is that I started writing when I was six. I read an article in Smithsonian magazine, and it was about the coal fires in Pennsylvania and read that they had run out of money for research, and I wanted to do something to help.

And so my six-year-old self, who had no idea about how anything worked. I asked my mom if we could donate all of our money. And she goes, okay, well, so here’s the thing. We can’t donate all of our money. But what people do is raise funds and awareness for a cause that they believe in.

Leahy: So you wrote a song.

Wilkins: I did.

Leahy: Did you sing it at six?

Wilkins: I did. I sang it at six.

Leahy: How did it do?

Wilkins: I ended up recording it at nine. My parents are both business people. My family’s not in music. And so they wanted to support me but didn’t exactly know what to do. And so we ended up recording it at nine and ended up using it for the Plant a Billion campaign.

Leahy: And so you made some money on it?

Wilkins: I ended up planting some trees in the Atlantic rainforest. I set out to help people.

Leahy: You are a music veteran. That’s very good.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:



– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Alexis Wilkins” by Alexis Wilkins.

 

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